December 3, 2009

(2/16/1925 – 11/24/2009)

Alpha Dorene Comstock, 84 of rural Downing, passed away at her home on Tuesday, November 24, 2009.

The daughter of Aubrey Guy and Frances Pauline (Dabney) Jarvis, she was born at home on the family farm north of Downing, on February 16, 1925 and attended the Jay Bird/Darby School and the school of “Frances and Aubrey Jarvis”, where she learned how to be a wonderful homemaker.

As a young girl, Dorene was baptized and attended the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church where she and her sister, Dorothy sang many Sunday specials. She was a self-taught guitarist and could play anything with strings. She was also talented at yodeling.

On August 13, 1942, Dorene became the seventeen-year-old bride of her one and only sweetheart, Derwood Comstock. Derwood soon went off to war and Dorene moved to Burlington, Iowa where she worked in an ammunition plant making artillery shells for the war effort. She was a true “Rosie the Riveter”. She saved her money and when Derwood returned from the war, she had enough to buy the farm she was currently living on at the time of her death.

As a young farm wife, Dorene put her homemaking skills to good use. She always put out a huge garden where never a weed was to be found. She took great pride in preserving fruits and vegetables. Dorene made many quilts and crocheted everything from doilies to tablecloths.

Dorene loved cooking a big meal and having her family and friends in to eat and visit. She took great interest in the Chit Chat Club and helping out with Downing Appreciation Days and the Downing Depot dinners.

Dorene was most proud of her children and grandchildren. She took pride in all their accomplishments, big or small, it was all important to her.

In her later life, crippled by arthritis and having congestive heart failure, she was housebound. She rarely complained and always kept a positive outlook on life. Her concern was always for her family, never dwelling on her limitations.

Survivors include her children, Stanley Richard (Dick) Comstock and wife, Denise of Kirksville, and Lorie Ann Arnold of Memphis; seven grandchildren, Lisa Kephart and husband, Bill of Kirksville, Cindy Middleton and husband, Alan of Downing, Chris Comstock of Downing, Sarah Carlstrom and husband, Scott of Springfield, Adam Comstock and wife, Monique of Kansas City, Brooklyn and Dylan Arnold of Memphis; four great-grandchildren, Kandi and Madison Small of Kirksville, Hayle and Douglas Middleton of Downing; two step great grandsons, Dalton and Lane Kephart of Kirksville; one sister, Imogene Wineinger of Memphis; one brother, James Jarvis of Augusta, Illinois; one daughter-in-law, Laveta Comstock of Rutledge; nieces and nephews and other family members.

Dorene is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Derwood in 1983; one son, James Comstock in 1987 and one sister, Dorothy Comstock.

Memorial services were held on Friday, November 27, 2009 at the Downing Christian Church with Larry Smith, pastor of the Downing Christian Church officiating. Soloist, Tim Carson, provided music. A special musical selection of “Hymn of Promise” was performed. A Time of Sharing was held following the memorial service in the Fellowship Hall of the church. Memorials have been established for the Downing First Responders. Burial of the cremains will be in the Downing Cemetery in Downing at a later date.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Norman Funeral Home of Lancaster and Downing.

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